American Apparel's 'Made in Bangladesh' ad features topless former Muslim model

Sophie Tighe
10 March 2014

American Apparel has courted controversy yet again with its latest ad, featuring a half naked former Muslim model.

Appearing in just a pair of jeans, the woman named Maks stands topless with just the words Made in Bangladesh covering her breasts.

By the US manufacturer’s standards, the image itself is not particularly shocking but Maks’ backstory is bound to raise a few eyebrows.

Like many of its infamous campaigns, the poster features details on the model’s personal history.

Maks was born into a strict Islamic family in Bangladesh before they moved to California when she was four.

‘She continued following her parent’s religious traditions and sustained her Islamic faith throughout her childhood,’ according to her bio.

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‘Upon entering high school, Maks began to feel the need to forge her own identity and ultimately distanced herself from Islamic traditions.’

The 22-year-old has since commented that she was ‘fully comfortable’ with the photo shoot, which makes a point of emphasising the company’s fair wage policy for their employees.

 ‘I fully support the message of the ad,’ Maks told the Mail Online.

‘I love and embrace all cultures and religions. I am choosing to be creative and expressing myself clearly.’

This is not the first controversial campaign American Apparel has run.

The Los Angeles-based clothing company has garnered criticism in the past for featuring nudity in their ads and has been the subject of seven sexual harassment lawsuits (all dismissed).

In January, New Yorkers were given a shock as a selection of American Apparel mannequins appeared with visible public hair sparking a debate on female grooming.

What do you think of American Apparel’s latest ad? Let us know on Twitter.

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